“The Scenic Route to Success: A teen’s guide to life without a high school diploma”, Ottawa’s Newest Learning Centre, Compass, to host speaker panel on November 18, 2013.

Compass Centre for Self-Directed Learning, a unique alternative to high school that empowers teenagers to direct their own education, is in its first full year of operation. In that time, they have more than tripled their teen membership and become a registered charity.

Ottawa, Ontario (November 12, 2013) Named to reflect its self-directed learning approach, Compass, Canada’s only community-based self-directed learning centre, encourages teens and parents alike to attend the first in their panel series entitled “The Scenic Route to Success: A teen’s guide to life without a high school diploma.”

Trent University, Algonquin College, entrepreneurs and others who have taken a non-traditional path – including a current Compass teen, will be among those on the speaker panel. This panel aims to dispel the myth that having a high school diploma is necessary for success in life beyond the teenage years.

Having taken the traditional path that most students do from high school to university and ultimately deciding she wanted to pursue teaching, co-director Abby Karos knew she did not want to teach in a traditional high school. That is when she began to research alternative education systems.

“I believe that having a fulfilling life now and a fulfilling life in the future are not mutually exclusive, in fact quite the opposite. The best preparation for a meaningful and productive future is a meaningful and productive present. Success in any activity breeds further confidence.” says Karos.

Modeled on alternative education program North Star in Hadley, Massachusetts whose slogan is “learning is natural, school is optional,” Compass empowers teenagers to rediscover their innate desire to learn and explore self-identity to uncover what interests them currently.

Through directing their own education, students develop self-knowledge and experience in discovering their passion in order to dictate their own future.


The Scenic Route to Success: A teen’s guide to life without a high school diploma promises to address questions of homeschooling, youth directing their own learning, how passionate interest, happiness, and success are closely linked, how teens approach applying for university after attending Compass, and the diverse range of students who fit this model of learning.

“If a teen feels like they are putting in time until graduating high school, it is our hope that by coming to Compass, teens will feel like they can start living their lives now,” says Karos.

The Compass board of directors invites you to this panel to understand how teens following a non-traditional route can go on to lead successful lives.



·      Monday, November 18th, 2013

·      7:30-9:00pm

·      Bronson Centre – Mac Hall 

     For more information on Compass Centre for Self-Directed Learning, please visit and




o   Abby Karos

o   Co-Director, Compass Centre For Self-Directed Learning

o   Email:

o   Phone: 613-916-6303


About Compass Centre for Self-Directed Learning

Compass Centre For Self-Directed Learning is a groundbreaking alternative educational institution based in Ottawa’s Bronson Centre in its first full year as Canada’s only self-directed learning centre. It is a compelling alternative to the traditional schooling system at a time when many are calling for broad-based reforms to make our education system more relevant, practical and engaging for young Canadians. Compass is a registered charity and does not turn away any family because of financial reasons.